CFOs’ role has evolved to become strategic influencers and problem-solvers for the broader business. To help achieve these objectives, CFOs need to have a strong understanding of their company’s core values, how they impact business success and how those values drive vital decisions. According to Gary McGaghey, CFOs should be well-versed in significant accounting principles and effectively communicate with other stakeholders, such as boards and management, about financial results and trends.

How can CFOs help connect corporate action?

Gary McGaghey: The role shift will require different skills from those who have traditionally served as CFOs. To succeed, CFOs need to understand financial reports, advanced analytics and data analysis, strategic planning and decision making, accountancy and financial modeling, risk management, and risk assessment.

In addition, they need to be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment where change is constant. The CFO must know how to manage budgets, build systems and make decisions rapidly; they also need to work with others in a collaborative setting, noted Gary McGaghey.

What are some changes that impact the role of the CFO?

Some potential tax changes, regulatory policy, workforce concerns, and cultural shifts that impact the role of the CFO include:

  • Tax reform – As the economy recovers, more businesses are looking to erase past taxes. This will pressure the CFO to develop creative ways to reduce income taxes and get their businesses back on track.
  • Regulations surrounding the new Affordable Care Act – With so many people now insured through Obamacare, managers may be rethinking how they operate their business about social media and other marketing practices.
  • Cultural changes – The increasing availability of tablets, smartphones, and other digital devices has made it hard for companies to keep up with changing customer demands. As a result, CFOs are likely to play an even more critical role in developing innovative strategies for meeting customer demands while staying afloat in a digital age.

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